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Author Topic: Am I black?  (Read 15260 times)

Bluenine

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2005, 12:25:03 PM »
Honestly, no you're not black, you're most likely Arab.  From my understanding, AA was meant to benefit African-Americans (descendants of American slaves), not Africans, West Indians, etc. There has actually been much debate about this topic recently (Africans taking advantage of AA.)

In any event, you're not black.  

What if you are a descendant of a West Indian slave, but migrated to this country, where you now live, and study, and work, and strain under the same weight as someone who was born here?.    What if you came here when you were 18 years old, or 8 years old, or 8 months old?   At what point do you gain enough African Americaness to be able to check that box?  I’m from the West Indies, a straight up reggae-loving, Carnival-going West Indian.  So I’m interested on your take on this.

Honestly, in my opinion, you would never get to check that box.  I mentioned that there was a debate regarding this, and I have to say I side with those who believe AA should be limited to the descendents of American slaves.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a pan-Africanist and strongly believe in uplifting all of the members of the African diaspora.  HOWEVER, first and foremost, I am a Black American and feel entitled to certain rights in this country.  My West Indian/African bredren didn't have to endure what my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. had to in THIS country.  Shoot, most of the West Indians I've come across make it a point not to identify with "Yankees".

I know people will disagree with me but that comes with the territory.  Far too often, people are "black/African American" when it's convenient. I guess it all depends on how you define black or African American. How do you define it?

Okay so this is how I define black: BLACK.  I had a friend tell me this one time, “well, you’re not black, you’re from the Caribbean”.  Where did this come from?   Seriously, I had never heard that before.   Hilarious! My response was something like, “do Americans have a monopoly on blackness?”  Someone should tell my manager, or those police last summer.

Furthermore, how can I be black when it’s convenient?  If I could have un-blacked myself when the cops showed up at my door, I sure as hell would have, it would have saved me a week in jail on a bogus mistaken identity charge.

And what about if I am a descendant of African American slaves who just happened to be born in the Caribbean.  History shows us that there was extensive slave trade, back and forth between the Carolinas and the Caribbean, and more specifically my country.

A deeper discussion even has to take place since I think your point is based on assuming that the sole purpose of A.A is compensate the descendants of American slaves.  This would be to ignore the language in the supreme court rulings on affirmative action which points to a goal of achieving student body diversity.  There is no mention of repatriation, which is what your “understanding” really hints at.


Exactly.  This has nothing to do with reparations.

REPATRIATION not reparations.

Anyway, BP you're right the language doesn't indicate country of origin.  However, I think it should.  Also, I'm aware that I've made a blanket statement but I'm speaking from MY frame of reference, therefore, what I've said may not apply to you.  However, neither of us can speak on behalf of an entire people.  
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blaqueangel

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2005, 12:26:27 PM »
I agree with B.P.

While I think these categorizations are not entirely accurate, for me the term "african-american" represents ethnicity and the term black is meant to describe your race.

When someone asks me what I am, I say I'm Haitian or Haitian-American. During the college admissions process, if an application only had the choice of African American I checked other and wrote in "Haitian-American". I think the term "African-American" is limiting and doesn't describe the cultural and linguistic differences within the black race. At least, in my opinion, it doesn't represent my experiences in this country.

In the law school admissions process, I noticed that Fordham's application actually differentiated between African American and West Indian/Caribbean.  Or something to that effect.

Bluenine

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2005, 12:27:38 PM »
you know.. i never looked at it from a black OR african american perspective.. some people say they're black other's say they're african american.. i really didn't take it outside of that context...

Sorry I didn't mean to differentiate between the two.  To me, black and African American are interchangeable along with black American/Afro-American etc.  They are all names used to identify descendants of American slaves.  For example, when speaking with a Nigerian, Ghanian, Jamaican, 10 times out of 10, they'll say they're not black but whatever their respective country is (i.e. Nigerian, Ghanian, or Jamaican).

But you are stil differentiating the two.  To YOU, black and African American are interchangeable. Note however, that while African American always means black, it does not work the other way around: Black does not always mean African American.  As for your anecdote on Nigerians, Ghanians, or Jamaicans, I whole heartedly disagree.  Actually you are losing me here.  If you ask a Jamaican where he/she is FROM, they will say that they are Jamaican.  If you ask them their race, 100% of the time they will say black.  You're confusing things here.

Take a look at reggae songs: Black man rise up (Bob Marley), Black woman and Child (sizzla), Black Brethren (Luciano).  You are 100% off on this.

edit: Do you know who Marcus Garvey is?

Yes, I know who Marcus Garvey is.  I'm not using BLACK as a racial identifier, but a cultural one.  I KNOW WE'RE ALL BLACK in that respect!  Geez.  Culturally, however, we are different.  I apologize for not being clear. I identify myself as black (meaning African American), and I assumed we were speaking in terms of ethnicity/culture.
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blk_reign

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2005, 12:27:48 PM »
It has everything to do with your original question.. how do you not see that with you posting on a black law student discussion forum ???

Here are better questions Meeno.. Why do you want to check African American on your law school application? Have you EVER identified with African Americans? What box did you check for the jobs that you apply for? For your undergrad application etc?

Although I see where you're going, it is irrelevant what I put before.  I did not change races between then and now, and this has nothing to do with your argument
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

faith2005

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2005, 12:38:22 PM »
dear meeno, i understand your point, but I think that you need to understand your context. if most Arab Americans are Christian, then shouldn't you not go around writing things that are ignorant given the climate of the U.S. these days? its a disservice to brown folks! most people probably wouldn't know that you were exaggerating and take it at face-value. And yes, I could tell you were Coptic from your post. Interestingly enough, I learned about the religion and issues in Egypt in Arabic class. here's a link about Arab Americans from the detroit free press, which provides interesting information about the Arab population in the U.S. it is a message board, but i thik that we should always take our chance to educate seriously. oh, and if you don't identify with the history of Black people in the U.S., then maybe it's just as simple for you to check other and write in Egyptian. peace and love!

http://www.freep.com/jobspage/arabs/arab1.html

Bluenine

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2005, 12:40:37 PM »
"oh, and if you don't identify with the history of Black people in the U.S., then maybe it's just as simple for you to check other and write in Egyptian. peace and love!"

Exactly.

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_BP_

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2005, 12:56:26 PM »
yeah, reparations and not repatriation (I was thinking too quickly)

Note that we were all brought to this hemisphere by the same European/American slave machine.  My forefathers and yours were probably on the same slave ship heading this way.  By the luck of the draw (or lack of luck depending on who you ask), my people ended up getting sold a few miles off the coast of mainland American while your people most likely got sold here.  They both ended up on European/American plantations and busted their asses. So even if A.A were reparation driven, here I am to reap!   You're probably right though, I won't check that black/URM box, I'm getting a stamp made, to stamp the entire page!

Oh and an inaccurate statement, is an inaccurate statement, regardless of frame of reference. I mean, what else can people from the Caribbean identify themselves as, grey?
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HBCU.EDU

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2005, 12:59:46 PM »
Meeno- No. you are not black. Period. These are words to live by. Just do the best you can on the lsat man and pray that you get into the law school of your choice. Seems like you are stressin about getting into law school and you want to be black to give you an extra advantage. It's obvious. I think it's crazy to check one box on your undergraduate app and check something else on your law school app. I would think you would get into some kinda trouble with the law school if you do that as well.(by the way, I'll bet you didn't mark black on your undergrade app. I know you didn't because i'm smart) They may have questions when they see your "black face" and eventually throw you out of their school for not telling the truth. hell, it may even @#!* you up with the bar so call the school and ask them about it if it's a big deal to you.  

blk_reign

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2005, 01:00:03 PM »
I was referring more or less to the OP in her/his original question..I really never thought to separate the two you know?

you know.. i never looked at it from a black OR african american perspective.. some people say they're black other's say they're african american.. i really didn't take it outside of that context...

Sorry I didn't mean to differentiate between the two.  To me, black and African American are interchangeable along with black American/Afro-American etc.  They are all names used to identify descendants of American slaves.  For example, when speaking with a Nigerian, Ghanian, Jamaican, 10 times out of 10, they'll say they're not black but whatever their respective country is (i.e. Nigerian, Ghanian, or Jamaican).
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

Bluenine

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2005, 01:00:38 PM »
yeah, reparations and not repatriation (I was thinking too quickly)

Note that we were all brought to this hemisphere by the same European/American slave machine.  My forefathers and yours were probably on the same slave ship heading this way.  By the luck of the draw (or lack of luck depending on who you ask), my people ended up getting sold a few miles off the coast of mainland American while your people most likely got sold here.  They both ended up on European/American plantations and busted their asses. So even if A.A were reparation driven, here I am to reap!   You're probably right though, I won't check that black/URM box, I'm getting a stamp made, to stamp the entire page!

Oh and an inaccurate statement, is an inaccurate statement, regardless of frame of reference. I mean, what else can people from the Caribbean identify themselves as, grey?

It's inaccurate because you say so...
The George Washington University Law School c/o 2008